Culture of the Cayman Islands
The culture of the Cayman Islands has been influenced by Afro-Caribbeans of Jamaica, colonists of Great Britain, and more recent immigrants from the United States. In the 21st century, approximately 113 nationalities make up the residents on the three islands comprising the country. The total population of the Cayman Islands consists of slightly more than 55,000 people spread throughout the island group, with the majority of the people found on Grand Cayman. Roughly 20,000 are native Caymanian, with the remainder born elsewhere in the world.
In the past, most of the people of the Cayman Islands got their livelihood from the sea through fishing, turtle harvesting, and as merchant seamen. Cayman Sea Salt and Cayman Logwood products are now locally made and exported.
The influences of American and European culture are most evident in the religion of the Cayman Islands, where Christianity is the most practiced religion. Within the island group, Christian denominations include Anglican, Baptist, Catholicism, Church of God, Presbyterian, and United Church, among others. Because religion is an important aspect of the culture of the Cayman Islands, most of the local businesses as well as the harbors and ports are closed on Sundays. The same establishments are closed on Christmas days. The Cayman Islands also hosts a growing Jewish community.
British English is the most commonly spoken language in the Cayman Islands, albeit with a distinctive Caymanian dialect. Jamaican patois is also commonly spoken in the Cayman Islands, and younger Caymanian generations had adopted certain Jamaican terms and expressions.
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The food of the Cayman Islands includes traditional Afro-Caribbean fare such as cassava, johnny cake, bread fruit, plantain, and meat pie. Jamaican cuisine has also been an influence in the Cayman Islands, and jerk seasoning has become popular for use on meat dishes such as chicken, fish and pork. Curry is also used frequently in rice, chicken, and fish dishes. Traditional Caymanian fare includes dishes made from turtle meat, conch, goat, and fish such as grouper and snapper, with locally made Cayman Sea Salt.